SS304 vs SS316, 304 vs 316 Stainless Steel, Difference Between 304 and 316 Stainless Steel

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AISI 304 vs 316 Stainless Steel

Difference Between 304 and 316 Stainless Steel

The main difference between 304 vs 316 stainless steel is the content of Chromium (Cr), Nickel (Ni) and Molybdenum (Mo). 304 stainless steel doesn’t contain Molybdenum while SS316 contains 2%-3% molybdenum. In addition, AISI 304 has a 18% Chromium and 8% Nickel content while AISI 316 has a 16% Chromium and 10% Nickel.

304 vs 316 Stainless Steel in Chemical Composition

The following table shows the difference between 304 and 316 stainless steel in composition.

SS304 vs SS316 Composition (%)
Steel GradeCSiMnPSCrNiMo
304≤0.08≤1.00≤2.00≤0.045≤0.03018.0-20.08.0-11.0
316≤0.08≤1.0≤2.00≤0.045≤0.03016.0-18.010.0-14.02.0-3.0
304L≤0.03≤1.00≤2.00≤0.035≤0.03018.0-20.08.0-12.0
316L≤0.03≤1.0≤2.00≤0.045≤0.03016.0-18.010.0-14.02.0-3.0

SS304 vs SS316 in Mechanical Properties

304 vs 316 stainless steel properties

SS304 vs SS316 Mechanical Properties
UNSAISITensile Strength (MPa) ≥Yield Strength  ≥ (MPa) at 0.2% OffsetElongation (%, ≥50mm)Brinell Hardness (HBW) ≤Rockwell Hardness (HRBW)  ≤
S304003045152054020192
S316003165152054021795
S30403304L4851704020192
S31603316L4851704021795

SS 304 Stainless Steel

SS 304 is a versatile stainless steel and the most commonly used stainless steel, it is widely used to produce equipment and parts that require good corrosion resistance and formability, such as food equipment, general chemical equipment.

SS304 has excellent hot and cold processing and forming properties, can be processed to produce various products such as plates, pipes, wires, belts, strip, and tapes. It is suitable for manufacturing cold heading, deep drawing, and deep drawing forming parts. 304 stainless steel welding performance is common, can be welded using the usual welding method, no heat treatment before and after welding.

However, the performance of 304 steel is also deficient: after welding of large-size steel parts, it is sensitive to intergranular corrosion in chlorine-containing medium. In addition, it has low mechanical strength and poor cutting performance.

SS 316 Stainless Steel

Because SS316 contains molybdenum (Mo), the resistance to pitting corrosion in the marine and chemical industry environment is much better than 304 stainless steel.

Under high temperature conditions, stainless steel 316 has a wide range of uses when the sulfuric acid concentration is lower than 15% and higher than 85%. 316 stainless steel also has good resistance to chloride corrosion. Variants of 316 stainless steel include low-carbon stainless steel 316L, nitrogen (N) containing high strength stainless steel 316N, high sulfur containing free cutting stainless steel 316F, and titanium containing improving intergranular corrosion 316Ti.

316 and 316L have better heat resistance and can be used for heat resistant steels, but 304 is not acceptable.

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